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SubjectRe: [PATCH] only irq-safe atomic ops
Robert Love wrote:
> ...
> Question: if (from below) you are going to use atomic operations, why
> make it per-CPU at all? Just have one counter and atomic_inc and
> atomic_read it. You won't need a spin lock.

Oh that works fine. But then it's a global counter, so each time
a CPU marks a page dirty, the counter needs to be pulled out of
another CPU's cache. Which is not a thing I *need* to do.

As I said, it's a micro-issue. But it's a requirement which
may pop up elsewhere.

> This would be atomic and thus preempt-safe on any sane arch I know, as
> long as we are dealing with a normal type int. Admittedly, however, we
> can't be sure what the compiler would do.
> Thinking about it, you are probably going to be doing this:
> ++counter[smp_processor_id()];
> and that is not preempt-safe since the whole operation certainly is not
> atomic. The current CPU could change between calculating it and
> referencing the array.

yup. It'd probably work - the compiler should calculate the address and
do a non-buslocked but IRQ-atomic increment on it. But no way can we
rely on that happening.

> But, that wouldn't matter as long as you only
> cared about the sum of the counters.

If the compiler produced code equivalent to

counter[smp_processor_id()] = counter[smp_processor_id()] + 1;

then the counter would get trashed - a context switch could cause CPUB
to write CPUA's counter (+1) onto CPUB's counter. It's quite possibly
illegal for the compiler to evaluate the array subscript twice in this
manner. Dunno.

If the compiler produced code equivalent to:

const int cpu = smp_processor_id();
counter[cpu] = counter[cpu] + 1;

(which is much more likely) then a context switch would result
in CPUB writing CPUA's updated counter onto CPUA's counter. Which
will work a lot more often, until CPUA happens to be updating its
counter at the same time.

> ...
> > 2: In <linux/atomic.h>,
> >
> > #define atomic_inc_irq atomic_inc
> > ...
> > #endif
> I can think up a few more uses of the irq/memory-safe atomic ops, so I
> bet this isn't that bad of an idea. But no point doing it without a
> corresponding use.


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